Attorney general avoids chametz flap

Israel’s attorney general did not contest a court challenge to a law barring the display of chametz during Passover.

Menachem Mazuz’s office said Tuesday he had turned down a request by a Knesset lawmaker to countermand a ruling earlier this month by a Jerusalem magistrate who said shops can stock leaven during Passover.

The magistrate had argued that a 1986 “chametz law” banning the public display of leaven in stores and restaurants was open to interpretation. Stocking chametz is not the same as flaunting it, she said.

The ruling rocked religious politicians who saw a threat to the status quo governing Jewish observance in Israel. In a special Knesset debate, religious parliamentarians said they would amend the law to remove any ambivalence.

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